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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

BB Riverboats christening new event center, celebrates 40 years in business

The Bernstein family christened a new component of their floating-family business today as they introduced River's Edge, a state-of-the-art event center on the northern Kentucky banks of the Ohio River.

The event center holds up to 225 guests to experience the romance of the river without ever setting sail.

Voted "Best Yoga Studio" by Best Things Kentucky. Located at 18 N. Fort Thomas Ave. 

Located on their brand new Newport Landing dock facility, River's Edge is Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky’s only private event space located on the Ohio River.  It's designed to host and cater weddings, rehearsal dinners, family reunions, corporate meetings or sorority/fraternity parties.

40 years in business

BB Riverboats gets its name from the initials of the people who were instrumental in getting the business started; Ben Bernstein and Betty Blake.

In 1977, Ben Bernstein purchased the Mike Fink Restaurant in Covington, KY from Captain John Beatty.

In 1979, BB Riverboats was formed and a staff began booking cruises from the Mike Fink Restaurant. The first cruise was on March 15, 1980 on the M/V Betty Blake. The Betty Blake was a 400 passenger sternwheeler that was leased from the Gateway Clipper Company from Pittsburgh, PA.

Port of Cincinnati

It didn't take long after the grand opening of BB Riverboats to realize that the business was going to be a success. Following the first cruising season at the Mike Fink, a long-term home was purchased for BB Riverboats and it was moved further down the river, just below the John Roebling Suspension Bridge. BB Riverboats ran out of this location for about ten years before becoming part of Covington's riverfront entertainment complex, "Covington Landing", where it operated until 2005. In 2005, BB Riverboats moved up to Newport, KY, where it is located today on Riverboat Row.

Propelling into the Future

BB Riverboats has had the distinction of being awarded the exclusive rights for riverboat cruises in the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, TN. This was the company's first big break and really propelled it into the future. BB Riverboats has been a key component in all of the "Tall Stacks" festivals, which have occurred here in the Cincinnati area in 1988, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2006.

The company is now run by Ben Bernstein's son, Alan Bernstein and his wife Mary along with their two children, Terri and Ben Bernstein. Along with a well-seasoned management team, they are strategically aligned to propel BB Riverboats into the future.

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